IRVING, Texas - DeMarcus Ware already has an interesting offseason in front of him. Now he can add elbow surgery as well.
The veteran pass-rusher is expected to have cleanup surgery on his right elbow next week. Ware has dealt with elbow issues on his left and right elbow the past two seasons, but has managed to play through the setbacks. Last year, he played parts of the season with an elbow brace on his left elbow.
Ware is not expected to miss any of the offseason workouts, including OTAs and mini-camp practices, which begin in May.
For the first time since Ware joined the Cowboys in 2005, his future with the club is somewhat in question. The Cowboys have some decisions to make regarding his $12.25 million base salary and $16 million hit on the salary cap.
If Ware is released this summer, the Cowboys could save about $7.5 million on the cap and could clear more than $12 million if they made him a post-June 1 cut.
Then again, the Cowboys could be losing veteran Jason Hatcher in free agency and it's uncertain what will happen with Anthony Spencer, another unrestricted free agent who is coming off microfracture surgery. [embedded_ad]
Last December, Ware said he would work with the Cowboys on a contract restructure, however it's expected the club will be more interesting in a salary reduction, something they did last year with Doug Free, who saw his salary slashed from $7 million to $3.5. Free responded with one of his best seasons of his career at right tackle.
Ware's injury issues have caused the Cowboys to have some concern with his ability to perform at a high level. In 2013, he missed the first three games of his career with a quad injury and finished the year with just six sacks, a career-low. He also missed the Pro Bowl for the first time since his rookie season.
In 2012, Ware also limped his way down the stretch of the season, battling knee, elbow, neck and shoulder issues. Ware had shoulder surgery last summer.
But he came back in training camp and was undeniably the best player on the field during the four-week stay in Oxnard, Calif. Ware looked primed to have a great season in the new 4-3 scheme. He intercepted an Eli Manning pass on the first play of the regular season and had four sacks in the first three games. Two of the sacks occurred against the Rams on Sept. 22, which gave him the Cowboys' franchise record in sacks, surpassing Harvey Martin (114.0).
But Ware would only end up with two more sacks the rest of the season.